Mapping the City: Palimpsest, Place, and Identity in Art Education Research

Blandy, Doug
October 2008
Studies in Art Education;Fall2008, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p6
Academic Journal
The built environment has a long history of study within the field of art education as the site of material and visual culture that is reflective of, and constructed by, cultural values, traditions, and norms. As our understanding of place is challenged by postmodern theories of culture and identity, art education research and curriculum must consider methodologies that document and account for multiple narratives and viewpoints of place. Drawing on a visual ethnographic study of Panama City, Panama, I examine the figurative concept of the palimpsest as a means to analyze the ways in which built environments embody social, cultural, and historical narratives of place, highlighting the involuted relations between material, visual, cultural, and social experience. I discuss the implications of visual and arts-based methods in terms of the ways in which they might address postcolonial and postmodern concerns with such issues as hybridity, representation, and identity.


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